Divorce up for Older Couples-leading to Contested Property Issues

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Divorce on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Divorce legal issues can be rife with emotions, disputes and uncertainties if divorcing parties do not properly understand the process.

A southern Florida paper recently reported that a study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found that over the past 5 years there has been an increase in divorces for those aged 50 and over. Of the AAML's survey of 1,600 members, 61 percent had seen an increase in over-50 divorces. Alimony was the most commonly contested issue in these post-50 divorces contested 38 percent of the time. Business interests were next on the list followed by retirement at 14 percent. At a rate of 22 percent, academy members reported that more of the divorces were initiated by wives than by husbands.

Older couples often have acquired more property. In states that follow equitable distribution rules, a divorce judge will determine how to most fairly divide property between two divorcing spouses. In some cases, this can mean that two-thirds of the property will go to the hiring-earning spouse while the lower-earning spouse receives one-third. It is important to keep in mind that property division does not mean that all of the property belonging to the couple is physically split down the middle; rather, it means that the marital assets will be added up and totaled and each spouse will be granted a percentage.

Oftentimes to offset any anticipated financial difficulty for one spouse, such as a spouse that remained at home during the marriage to raise the children, the court will award alimony, or spousal support, payments to that spouse. The court t will determine if the higher-earning spouse is able to make such payments and will also determine the needs of the non-earning or lower-earning spouse. Other factors will also be considered such as the length of the marriage, among other considerations.

End of marriage issues can often be emotional and the financial issues associated with divorce can sometimes lead to stress. Anyone considering a divorce can ask a lawyer for counsel to explain to them what they can expect of the process to be better prepared for what lies ahead.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Survey: Baby boomers divorcing more frequently," June 20, 2013

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